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Conference on Digital Public Infrastructure Held in Colombo, Jointly Organized by the High Commission of India and Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Technology

The High Commission of India, in collaboration with Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Technology, convened a conference on Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) in Colombo on Tuesday (March 26). The conference, comprising three sessions and breakout meetings, delved into the transformative potential of DPI in enhancing service delivery, fostering inclusivity, and driving innovation to enrich the economy.

The Opening Plenary featured a keynote address by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who commended the timeliness of the conference. Stressing DPI’s role as a crucial facilitator for Sri Lanka’s digital economy, the President emphasized the importance of collaboration with India in this sphere, citing the potential for accelerated growth by adopting India’s successful strategies domestically.

Santosh Jha, the High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, and Dr. Pramod Varma, Co-Chair of India’s Centre for Digital Public Infrastructure (CDPI), elaborated on India’s digital transformation and the significance of DPI and India Stack during the Opening Plenary.

The subsequent sessions, “Accelerating Digital Sri Lanka” and “Unlocking the Digital Stack,” facilitated discussions among experts from India, Sri Lanka, and the region. The former focused on the roadmap for DPI adoption in Sri Lanka and its implications for e-governance acceleration, with opening remarks by Kanaka Herath, State Minister of Technology. The latter explored use cases integrating technology, markets, and governance, with a special emphasis on the positive impact on startups, initiated by MP Dr. Harsha de Silva.

The conference witnessed several breakout meetings between visiting Indian experts and their Sri Lankan counterparts, as well as other stakeholders. Notably, senior officials from the Indian Government’s Ministries overseeing Digital India and Startup India programs engaged with Sri Lankan officials leading the Working Groups on Digital Economy.

Furthermore, initiatives were launched in the startup and IT industries domain, including a capacity-building workshop by Startup India’s team for startups in Sri Lanka and interactions between IIT Chennai’s Incubator ‘Parvartak’ and key startup incubators in Sri Lanka.

The Indian High Commission highlighted the conference as part of ongoing efforts to implement the Vision Document adopted by the Prime Minister of India and President of Sri Lanka in July 2023, aiming to promote connectivity, particularly in the digital realm. India’s grant assistance for establishing the Sri Lanka Unique Digital Identity (SL-UDI) Project was underscored as a key component for Sri Lanka’s digital transformation supported by DPI.

The engagements on Tuesday underscored the significant potential to leverage India’s DPI in alignment with Sri Lanka’s requirements and priorities, facilitating effective and efficient delivery of citizen-centric services to the people of Sri Lanka.

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